The Amazing Natural History Museum Los Angeles
The natural history museum in LA is an all around amazing experience. We recommend allowing at least 2.5 hours to see all of the Natural History Museum and its exhibits. For years, the Natural History Museum has attracted people far and wide to view its wonders. We’ll let you know everything you need to see and witness at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.
African Mammal Hall
Are you ready to experience the Natural History Museum at its greatest? The African safari allows you to see thing from Africa without the all the traveling. Some of the best exhibits are the Arabian oryx, black rhinoceros, bongo, cape buffalo, chimpanzee, giraffe, greater kudu, guereza hippopotamus, lion, okapi, ostrich, ratel, sable antelope, savanna elephant, serval, sitatunga, spotted hyena, and the Western lowland gorilla. Experience them up close and personal, like you never have before. Feel the adrenaline run through your veins as you witness the sheer natural power of these exotic beasts.
There are many things to do in the discovery center. Explore the Paleo Play Zone which has a fossil dig pit, the tabletop dinosaur puzzle, and much more! Touchable minerals, furs, and fossils are highlights of the Discovery Center that allow you to explore the diversity of Earth’s natural history. Saunter up to a sloth, stampede with a herd of African antelope, or pose next to the iconic polar bear. Microscopes and magnifying glasses allow you to investigate anything in the Discovery Center up close. Binoculars let you get a birds-eye view of what’s going on outside, which is usually filled with birds in the sky or scavenging the surrounding feeders. Search for unknown fossils in mounds of rock and re-assemble a saber-toothed tiger skeleton from the La Brea Tar Pits. The natural history museum has many things to offer, and we recommend checking out all the different areas while you are there.
The museum’s permanent exhibition, now open, tells the story of how Los Angeles transformed from a tiny pueblo to a sprawling metropolis. It’s a 500-year saga of how L.A. went from cowboys to cars, how battles raged in its backyards, how Hollywood was born, and why an aqueduct changed everything.
The newly reimagined exhibition is an even larger story. The most profound change is the increased presence of the diverse voices of Angelenos. You’ll see a video in which community leaders share what it means to be an indigenous Californian living in L.A. today. At listening stations in the galleries, you’ll hear the audio recordings of museum visitors who came before you, and then you can share your story about what L.A. is to you. We think this is one of the best things to do at the Natural History Museum, as it brings together LA through its history.
The dinosaur hall has been recently redesigned to accommodate further expansions. Here’s what they have to say about it. The all-new, 14,000-square-foot Jane G. Pisano Dinosaur Hall is twice the size of the museum’s old dinosaur galleries. It will rival the world’s leading dinosaur halls for the number of individual fossils displayed, the size and spectacular character of the major mounts (including the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series), and the way that paleontology comes alive! In these spacious, light-filled galleries, visitors will encounter science, not as static information, but as a vibrant, ongoing investigation into the mysteries of the universe — some resolved and some still being explored. You can plan your dino day with an easy to use application located on the museum’s website.
Butterflies are taking flight at NHMLA! Get up close to beautiful butterflies in our new Butterfly Pavilion. This seasonal exhibit — located outside on the south side of the museum — features more flight space, more resting spots, and more natural light. There will be hundreds of free-flying butterflies inside, and the awesome gallery interpreters can explain why these animals are so special.
Gems and Minerals
The Gem and Mineral Hall displays more than 2,000 spectacular specimens within two large galleries that comprise what is considered to be one of the finest exhibits of gems and minerals in the world.
Overall, the exhibit features an incredible array of gems and minerals from all over the globe, as well as an extensive collection of California specimens. The objects in the gallery are so beautiful, you can’t help but want to touch them. Luckily, visitors are encouraged to interact with multiple “touch specimens” made up of gems, minerals, and meteorites. A slab of gem-quality jadeite, weighing several hundred pounds, is one of the most valuable specimens in the entire exhibit and must be one of the most valuable mineral specimens available for public handling in the world.
The Gem and Mineral Hall houses only a small fraction of the museum’s extensive collection, which now includes more than 150,000 specimens.
These are some of our favorite exhibits, be sure to visit the website to see what other exhibits you may be interested in. The Natural History Museum’s website provides many details on how to enjoy the attractions and what to do when you’re there.